A small claims dispute that could set a precedent for millions of people whose personal data was sold by Octopus is in danger of collapsing. Grace Chan Yuk-fan, adjudicator of the Small Claims Tribunal, told claimant Wong Wing-kit yesterday that if he failed to submit sufficient evidence to prove his case by November 30, he would lose. 'You may be looking at universal issue [when you filed the claim], but there are legal costs for you to bear as an individual [if you lose], as a claimant you carry the burden of proof,' she said. The comment was made after Wong, a member of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, failed to decide if he would continue to sue Octopus Holdings - the only respondent of his claim - which said he had sued the wrong company. Octopus Holdings denied handling and passing on any personal data. Wong, in effect, said he wished to add the name of Octopus Rewards, its subsidiary which earlier admitted the data transfer. However, he did not bring any documents yesterday to support the application. This included the latest investigative report by the privacy commissioner. The report found that Octopus Rewards admitted making HK$57.9 million in the past eight years by selling cardholders' personal data to six business partners - including Cigna and Card Protection Plan (CPP), the two insurance companies which tried to sell policies to Wong between 2008 and 2009. Chan said Wong must prove the two companies had obtained his name and phone number from Octopus, but a barrister said Wong might not have to prove Octopus Rewards was the only source of data. 'Of course, the two companies could have obtained Wong's data through other channels, but this is a civil case, not criminal case, the burden of proof is only on a balance of probabilities, the judge can draw an inference if there were proof that Octopus did transfer the data to the two companies,' said Wong Hok-ming, a barrister of the Civic Party. An Octopus Holdings representative requested the case be struck as it was not an appropriate respondent. If not, the company would demand the case be heard in the Court of First Instance or District Court. The case was adjourned to December 28.